Advocating for Preservation on Downtown’s West Side
From the late 1700s through the 1940s, the West Side grew as a vital center of transportation, commerce, and cultural life. Unfortunately, in the late 20th century retail shopping and investment drifted out to Baltimore’s suburbs, many of these businesses closed, and their buildings began to decay from neglect. Baltimore Heritage and our partners are continuing to advocate for the preservation-based revitalization of this historic downtown Baltimore neighborhood.
Documentation and Designation in West Baltimore
We are working to connect historic preservation and community revitalization in historic West Baltimore neighborhoods, focused around the US 40 corridor, proposed for the development of the Red Line light rail route. One of our major initiatives is the documentation and designation of historic landmarks in Midtown Edmondson and Greater Rosemont.
Organizing the Friends of West Baltimore Squares
The Friends of West Baltimore Squares is a new initiative started in partnership with the Parks & People Foundation and neighborhood organizations in West and Southwest Baltimore to organize support for Franklin Square, Harlem Park, Lafayette Square, Perkins Square and Union Square, through events, outreach and advocacy. Visit the Friends of West Baltimore Squares online to learn more about this project.
Building Support for Baltimore’s Hebrew Orphan Asylum
Baltimore Heritage is currently working in partnership with the Coppin Heights CDC and Coppin State University to preserve and plan the rehabilitation of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum building. Built in 1876, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum the oldest purpose-built Jewish orphanage in the nation.
Many historic Baltimore buildings are endangered by deterioration and neglect and threatened with demolition for new construction. This list of highlighted building includes both publicly and privately owned structures, including a few where the owners are actively working to stabilize and preserve their property.
The 1833 McKim Free School building is one of Baltimore’s most important landmarks with deep roots in the city’s history and an unsurpassed 175 year record of education and social service.
Baltimore Heritage is working closely with the Friends of Clifton Mansion, Civic Works, the youth training program that occupies the Mansion, and the Henry Thompson of Clifton Society, to promote the historic importance of the Mansion and its role in Baltimore’s future.
- 400 block West Baltimore Street - Once threatened with demolition, this unique block on Downtown’s West Side, featuring cast-iron fronts and Civil War-era rowhouses, was largely restored in 2010.
- Scottish Rite Temple (1930) – The monumental home to the Socttish Rite Masons on Charles Street was protected by local landmark designation in 2009.
- Castalia (1928) – Home to the first headmaster of the Calvert School, Castalia was threatened with demolition in 2006 before the building was protected with a local landmark designation in 2008.
- 300 block St. Paul Place (ca 1820s) – Rare surviving early 19th-century rowhouse block demolished by Mercy Hospital in 2007.
- The Rochambeau Apartments (1905) – Historic apartment building, designed by Edward Glidden, demolished by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2006.
- Ross Winans Mansion (1882) - Threatened by neglect in the late-1990s, local business Agora, Inc. restored this Mount Vernon mansion in 2005.
- Monumental Motorcar Company (1915) – Former automobile showroom, better known as the “Odorite” Building, demolished by the University of Baltimore in 2004.